“You think they’re strong, those foundry boys? Like Hell they are. My grandfather told me stories about the machines they had before Lights-Out, and let me tell you, the things they had those days could wipe the floor with those toys. Hands? Feet? Bloody useless for a machine.”

“As a matter of fact, smart-ass, I’ve heard stories too. You know they have some fuel oil left in the South West, right? You know they still have tanks out there, the kind that have gunpowder guns twice the size of your head?”

“Those are just tales, all the fuel oil’s gone”

“Shows what you know, I’ve talked to people who have seen those things out there. Mostly pirates and cities have them, but only a few, most of them are broken down, with all the rubber eaten out by the bug”

“The petro-bug? That thing that went around eating plastic? What’re you going to say next, that the three little pigs are the ones driving? Just stop with your fairytales already”

“Just shut the hell up and listen. They’ve got tanks out there and they picked a fight with some foundry crusaders, and you know what happened? The crusaders kicked ass, that’s what”

“Even if just half of what you say is true, you’re still a lying sack of crap. A foundry boy wouldn’t stand a chance against a tank from before Lights-Out.”

“Oh yeah? Check this out. See this? This is the piece of a casing from one of those tank’s shells. The guy who told me the story gave it to me, just to deal with skeptical assholes like you.”

“Gave it to you or sold it to you? That’s just a shiny piece of metal”

“It’s a copper sabot, jackass. The shell’s in this, like a fat bullet, with a primer on this end and gunpowder stuffed in it.”

“You know what? I’m going to keep quiet, just to listen to you make a fool of yourself.”

“Fine, do that, let me tell it. Now, down there in the southwest they’ve got mostly plains and rolling hills, right? Well, the old tanks are faster than foundry crusaders, there’s no denying that, and since they could fire these shells, they could, in theory, blow you up from ways away. Knowing that, one of the cities with a refinery decided to stiff the crusaders in a trade. Construction materials for wheat or something along those lines, I think it was. Anyway, the city reneges on the deal, pretty sure of themselves and their tanks, saying they want twice the weight for their wheat, right? If that’s what you think, the old foundry farts said, we’ll just take the wheat ourselves. And so down they went with their own farmers and with a handful of crusaders to run the city farm-hands off. They knew it was coming, so they sent their tanks over too.”

“Then, you have the tanks at one side of a long valley across the grassland, and the foundry boys at the other. The tanks let loose, just hanging back and spitting fire and thunder across the  way, but the foundry boys don’t give a damn. They weave and zig-zag while they charge up to the tanks across the field, running flat out.”

“The guys in the tanks aren’t morons like this asshole to the right of me, so they turn around and start to haul ass to keep away from the foundry boys.

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